South Florida’s Dog Beaches

Published by USA Today Travel. Written by Alisa Marie Coccari.

91910627_XSBetween the year-round sunshine, surf and sand, South Florida is a haven for dogs and their owners. Many designated “doggy beaches” offer fun in the sun where Fido can run, swim and unleash a playful side. Because saltwater can make your dog ill if ingested, always bring a good supply of fresh water so your friend can remain hydrated and avoid heatstroke on the beach. Also follow proper dog etiquette, and park rules with strict fines, and bring plenty of dog-waste bags to clean up after your pets. Keep your dogs on a leash at all times until you have entered a designated off-leash safety zone. Be mindful of small children, and for everyone’s safety, never bring an aggressive dog or one with unpredictable behavior.

Lovers Key Doggy Beach

Dog lovers from all over Florida travel with their furry friends to hit the much-revered Lovers Key Doggy Beach. This is one of the best and most beautiful off-leash dog beaches and sandbars in Florida. Surrounded by the Gulf and nature preserve of Lovers Key State Park, this spot is ideal for letting your dog run, swim and play free. Dog lovers drive and boat into this incredible sandbar, often with small dogs in tow on kayaks and paddleboards. Located just west of New Pass Bridge, this spot is not formally marked. As you cross over the causeway bridge, slow down to the large parking lot often filled with happy dogs and their owners. Parking is free. There is a dog shower at the head of the parking lot. Check tide tables before arriving, as depending on the time of day and season, the water level can be up to knee- and waist-high water, making for a wet entrance to the doggy beach sandbar. Dogs are allowed off-leash past a designated point to run and swim on the sandbar. For those arriving by boat, GPS coordinates are N26 24.2754′ and W081 52.9679′.

Fort Lauderdale Dog Beach

Tucked away from all the bustling Fort Lauderdale action, the dog beach is located farther north but offers the same sugary sand beaches. Driving in, take A1A to the center line of East Sunrise Boulevard, then go north for 100 yards. Dogs are welcome Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. There is an annual resident permit fee per dog; a one-weekend permit costs $7 per dog as of 2013. This off-leash dog beach offers waste bags, water and beach showers.

Key West Dog Beach

Pups in paradise frolic at this beautiful dog beach on Key West. Located at the corner of Vernon Street and Wadelll Ave, there is parking on the street. This beach is small and a bit rocky, but is a gorgeous spot for pups to play and swim freely. Afterward, refresh yourself with a cold beverage and lunch at the dog-friendly Louie’s Backyard restaurant located next door.

Anne’s Dog Beach

Driving over Islamorada, just before the causeway to Tea Table Key, you will see Anne’s Dog Beach located at mile marker 73.5 on Overseas Highway on the ocean side. This secluded beach offers peaceful shallow water for owners and their dogs to play and swim out quite a distance on the sandbar. There are two parking lots, a boardwalk, waste bags, fresh water and picnic pavilions. There is no entrance fee, and it is accessible from sunrise to sunset.

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  • © 2012-2020 Alisa Marie Coccari All Rights Reserved

    All writing is copyright of Permission to use any such content will be both requested/granted in writing. Photography will only be used with written permission from the photographer and/or source. Alisa Marie Coccari has also been published under the nom de plume, Alisa Bowen.
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